26 May 2012

May 26th, 2012

Hi all, I haven't dropped off the end of the earth. Honest. LOL Just been busy as I know all of you will be too.
We are still very much looking after hedgehogs here. And just when I thought we were going to have a bit of a break(one should never think that I am learning) we received an older female with some head wounds to look after. When the family brought her here I thought hmmmmm she is rather large. I examined her and found the wound on her ear and the scabby bit on her nose. I thought hey up that could be ringworm again. We just finished up treating two of our rescues for ringworm. :( It is very difficult to get rid of on a hedgehog. Well anyway, it isn't ringworm thank goodness. But instead a puncture wound, the poor girl. I think her wounds are from a dog bite. But from dog bitten hogs I have seen in the past she has gotten off lucky. Usually dogs will keep attacking the thing that hurt them. This one must have gotten a prickle in the mouth and dropped her but not before wounding her. Well I have been diligently cleaning her wounds and Sue and Caroline both advised I get her some antibiotics. So we took her to our vets for a check up and to get the antibiotics.
  I have decided I believe very much in serendipity. While we were there and the vet examined her. I mentioned that I thought Lola could well be pregnant. The vet lit up and asked if she could do an ultrasound on her. I was a bit dubious thinking oooooh what will this cost. And my lovely vet said her treat. She hadn't done one on a hedgehog and wanted to give it a go. We managed to shave a tiny bit of fur off her belly and I held her while the vet ran the probe over her stomach. The vet, the assistant and my self immediately started grinning and I told Brian to come have a look. There on the little screen was a wiggly baby hedgehog!!!! We definitely saw one and there possibly was a couple more, but it was hard to see and not stressing Lola, we ended the session. What an experience that was. Well knowing that has helped big time as now I know I can't treat her for worms until after the birth and after the hoglets are bigger. Also it spurred me on to get her a nest box set up in her cage. This was on a Thursday.
   We returned home with our precious cargo and I returned her to her cage. And then set about finding a nest box for her and setting the room and cage up as a maternity ward. I had a hard time sleeping that night and kept thinking I was hearing paper rustling about. I got up checked and didn't see or hear anything. Came down and had breakfast. Brian put the dry fleeces he had washed in the room and said Lola was out of her box. So I went up and gave her her meds and treated her wounds. I also cleaned her cage and gave her fresh food and water. In changing the cage I noticed what looked like some sort of fluid and blood. Hmmm I think she has had them or is having them.
   I left her alone, making sure the room was cool enough for her. And then went in to give fresh food in the evening. And there she was laying in the door of the nest box with her head propped up like a pillow she looked up at me with sad tired eyes. And I saw it!!!! A tiny little baby hedgehog nursing.
  This is a first for us, though I have raised up babies in the past myself this is a first for a female in our care giving birth. Changing soiled bedding outside the nest box this morning(Saturday) and putting fresh food in..... We noticed two babies!!! I told Brian he could come in while I changed the food and bedding and see if he could see one too. He was so happy and excited. :) But we quietly left the room and went downstairs and then grinning said how wonderful!!!!

30 September 2011

September 30th, 2011

Well yesterday we were hogless for all of two hours!!! Gary and George dropped by on Wednesday night and picked up Bert and Blossom for rehoming at a friends house. They had homes ready and waiting on their arrival. Gary said that Billy has settled in to his new home too. :) Henry is still with Hedgehog Haven getting his ringworm treated. And yesterday we took little Francis back to Hedgehog Haven. We were doing a swap and I was bringing my Rosie girl home finally. :) She is the little hoglet we raised from a baby with her sister Dory and brother Drogo. Dory and Drogo went to a lovely place in the country. But Rosie has been at Hedgehog Haven recovering from her eye operation. I did ask if I could have her back and release her in our garden and yesterday we were able to pick her up. Sue calls her devil hog as anytime she picks her up she hisses and huffs and bucks like an evil thing. But when her mum holds her this is how she is...... She gives me kisses, nuzzles me, makes a chuntering noise and the spines all go flat. She actually does remember me and if wild animals can show emotion and love, I think this shows that they can. I love all the hogs I look after, but Rosie is one of the special ones to me and will have a special place in my heart always. :) Here she is inspecting her new temporary residence. We will be removing the pen on Sunday or Monday night. After all the neighbors do their gardening over the weekend.
Hopefully she will settle in and live in our garden or one of the neighbors gardens. We have food and water out every night for our visitors and have several visiting the feeders at night. Rosie will join Suzy and Alex as one of our one eyed visitors to the garden. :)

Here is a video of Gabriel. One of the garden boys. :) I had named him after the Angel. You can see they are putting on the weight getting ready for winter hibernating. It won't be long and they will be gone till next spring.

You can see a few of our visiting hogs here on this video. The rumbles aren't really full on like they do in Spring. I think the one lad is just trying to be the alpha male. It can all change come spring. And finally to our new babies. We picked up little Fran from Sue and Frank too. Only Frank will be going back today. He has ringworm and Sue has the meds for dealing with this as I haven't dealt with it other than with Henry who Sue is now looking after at the Haven.. We had got home and were putting together some cages when Sue called and a lady had a little one and was closer to us so could she bring her here. And so we now have little Pinky. The lady and her husband were very nice and promised to look for Pinky's siblings so we could be having more soon. I will keep you posted and post some photos up soon too. :)

20 September 2011

September 20th, 2011

 Please could you all go to the website and sign the petition. We need to help save our hedgehogs. And if we get enough signatures they will listen to us. Thanks.

To all our friends and supporters,

As you know hedgehogs are in serious decline and its a real possibility that
they could become extinct in the UK.

Please find below the link for a petition to the government requesting that hedgehogs become
legally protected under section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.


For this petition to be tabled in government we believe it needs a minimum of
100,000 signatures. So please take the time to add your name to this petition
and pass on to all you know that care about hedgehogs and our wildlife.

Thank you for taking the time and caring.

All the carers at Hedgehog Haven

6 September 2011

September 6th, 2011

We are now down to 6 hedgehogs in care. Elrond as you can see above has now gone to Hedgehog Haven to stay with Aunty Sue. She is watching over him and checking his hearing. Hopefully he will also get used to being a wild hedgehog. I think because when he arrived and was so ill he became to trust me a bit too much. I became mum and he trusted me and wouldn't curl up when I was around. He had fly strike which had had hatched out into maggots and they were in his eye and his ear on his right side. I flushed them out, but don't know what sort of damage they had already done to his hearing. His eyesight seemed fine. But I did worry about his hearing as he never flinched much like other hogs do. So he is now living with Aunty Sue for a bit before he is ready for releasing once she is satisfied he can hear okay. We will keep you posted.

    We had a really lovely day Last week where the temp was lovely and no rain so I decided to give the hoglets a run outside for a bit of exercise and fresh air. They all had a lovely time and hunted for meal worms. Please remember though that these are hogs in care and if you see a hedgehog out during the daytime then they are in trouble and to please catch them, put into a box and get them some help by contacting the BHPS. They will be able to get you in touch with a carer in your area.
These photos are of Bert. He is one of the three brothers found by the Hog busters. :)
 I think George won't recognize them now as they have all grown up quite a bit now as you can see from the photos.

Again the above is a photo of Bert.You can see how big he has gotten compared to the cat dish.

This is Billy out enjoying the fresh air and exercise. He is the largest of the three boys with Bert next biggest and Henry the smallest. Both Billy and Bert are over 500 grams now.

 And this is Henry. Having some exercise and searching for mealworms.

Here is little Blossom enjoying some exercise. She is growing up quick she has even passed Francis now in weight and is over 350 grams now.

Again you can see how big Blossom has gotten.

Soft Release
Once the hogs get over 550 grams I put them into soft release so they can soon be released back to the wild. Gloin was released out into the garden about a week ago and with Elrond now at Aunty Sue's, the soft release pens became free. So I  tidied up the pens and boxes and got them ready for the next tenants. Since Ratty and Billy were the biggest at the time, they were moved to the pens last Saturday. Below are some photos of their move. And since that gave us two large cages free, then Henry and Blossom were moved from their smaller cages to bigger cages and they are enjoying the extra space.

Okay Billy time for you to go outside to live.

Wake up Billy!

I hope you like your new large home.

Okay off to your new bed then. See you tonight.

And this is Ratty on moving day. He is all excited and can smell the fresh air.

Ratty was just a tad more livelier than Billy. He had to go around sniffing everything.
You can see why Sue named him Ratty, he has a really long nose.
He had a go at sniffing the straw and burrowed down through it before coming out with his nose in the air again only this time covered in straw.
Both boys have been enjoying their new homes outside and will soon be released back to the wild.

23 August 2011

August 23rd, 2011

We have had another busy couple of weeks here again. We took hoglets that were ready for release back to Aunty Sue's big Soft release garden and we have had Hogs back to release here too. Little Angelica(Angel) who was no longer little came to live in our garden with her friend Gabriel. They have been in the garden running around at night for the past week or so now. We have a few videos on our YouTube page. http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhee
Our little grand hoglet Midnight is still growing. We haven't seen little Storm for a bit so he/she must be living elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Gloin and Elrond went into soft release yesterday in the garden. It was a rather hectic day here as our washing machine door decided to fall off. So that meant I had to do all the fleeces by hand. There was a huge problem though... Brian had called the plumber to fix a leak we had..... Well we were without water for alot of the day and you can't really wash and rinse by hand without alot of water. Besides the two boys moving outside all the inside hogs got new beds too, except Billy and Bert who got to stay in their cage.

This is Gloin. I can't remember alot about him other than he came from Aunty Sue and I don't know his history much. Brian might have his records more as he is the record keeper, I do the hands on. However I did do a poo sample and he had fluke. So we had to get that clear before we could let him go into soft release. He is over 600 grams and will be ready to go by next Monday night.

You can read about Elrond from my earlier blog post. It was touch and go with him for a bit when he first came in, but luckily we got rid of the maggots before they really did too much damage to him. I am still a bit concerned about his hearing. The thing is I had to put so much time in with him he thinks of me as mum. So isn't frightened of me at all and quite relaxed when I am around. So when I go to test his hearing I get not much of a response. Although sometimes he does prickle up when you clap your hands over his head. He may or may not be released within the week. He may have to go to a secure garden or to Aunty Sue's big pen for a bit to toughen him up.

He loves being outside and was making some really happy wifflywoofly whistly type of noises. The kind that just make you smile when you hear them. He was self anointing and digging in the garden.

Like I said he isn't afraid when I handle him and he is uncurled around me. Even when I pick him up. He wants to see what is going on.

Here he is inspecting his new pen. I had to put him to bed otherwise he wouldn't have got his needed sleep.

I went out last night to check on him and he had a look on his face like a little naughty boy with his hand stuck in the cookie(biscuit) jar. He is so comical. I had put some meal worms around in the straw to get him hunting. :) And he loves meal worms. So we can't feed him too many. I will keep you all posted as to his progress.

This is Ratty. He is still gaining weight and still as gorgeous as when he came in. Lovely and dark face and skirt.

And here is Francis. She has improved, but still not gaining as well as I would like. She had a bad infestation on Lung worm and we have given her meds to get rid of the horrible things. And her weight has picked up. But she still isn't quite putting weight on like she should. I have given her a friend in hopes that he will get her eating. As they don't like being on their own when they are little.

And this is Francis' new friend Henry. Brian and I were spending last Thursday helping Sue at the Haven at Tiptree when Sue had a call from a gentle man who was nearer to me. He had a little hog he had found so we said once we were finished and back home he could bring him over to us. He and his young son brought us Henry. Both were really nice and were really interested in helping the hedgehogs. He had already got rid of the fleas for me and had given Henry some Goats milk and some cat food. Henry was in really good shape. They live near a really busy road and he was frightened that Henry could get hit by a car. So we are looking after Henry now. And he is enjoying being with Francis.

Well we were just getting things going and this gentleman called us again..... with another little boy..... So he and his son brought us Billy. We had another chat about hedgehogs and Billy and Henry were reunited(this was before the big move yesterday).
And then the next day he emailed me and they had found another little hoglet. This time it was little Bert. Father and son have now got a new name for themselves - The Hogbusters. :) So all three brothers spent the night together before the big move.
This is for Hogbuster George.. and family too. ;)

This is what a cage looks like in the morning when the hoglets have been up all night partying.

Come on Billy and Bert! Time to wake up so I can clean your cage.

Hedgehogs wake up grumpy too. It isn't just us humans that do that.

While I clean their cage I put them in this box so they don't escape and run through the house. We always weigh and check the hogs in the morning and any needing medicines are given them then. And some are needed in the evening too. Once their cages are cleaned and new bedding put in. I put in a fresh bowl of water in clean dishes and they get a bowl of dried kitten biscuits.
Here is Billy going back to bed. I had to put some paint on them so I would know who was who. Billy has a spot on him. Good day Billy. Sleep well.

And Bert has a stripe.

Sometimes they have to check things out before going to bed.

Good day Bert.

Have a nice sleep boys.

And finally this is our little girl Blossom. She has become a Daddy's girl. She came in on Saturday found out during the day. She had flystrike and by the time she got to me she was covered in fly eggs and maggots. They had started eating her alive. I thought that little Elrond was bad with the flystrike but this poor little baby was really in a bad way. I immediately went into adrenaline rush and panic mode. Brian was such a star. While I was spraying her with F10 Insecticidal wound spray to get the maggots off her and pulling them off he was getting the things I needed. I found that maggots need air. So I asked for some salt water and alot of it. I also wanted it warm to warm her up as she had gone cold. They were coming off of her and wriggling all over the place. Poor Jingles could tell I was upset and he came to lend his support, but I didn't want him getting covered in those horrible things. So he was shooed off. I finally got them all off here, and got her warmed up and some subcut fluids into her. I did stab myself once and hadn't noticed until I saw the blood. She was in a really bad way, and I pulled out all the stops for her. I even put in a panic call to Sue for some support. I hadn't ever had one in that bad before. Anyway she is doing better now. Still early days yet. She has a wound under her leg where the maggots had already started eating. The poor little girl must have been in such horrible pain. When I got a poo, I did take a sample and put it under the scope and she also had fluke eggs in it. So we had to run to Tiptree to get her a jab from Aunty Sue.
Unfortunately the lady who brought her had also found another hoglet, but by the time it got here it was barely alive and it died while I was trying to get the maggots off it. They had already gotten well into the body of this little hoglet and huge maggots were coming out of hole in its leg and out of the ears. It soon died before I could even think. Poor little thing.
So please!!!!!! Anyone that finds a hedgehog out during the day Please pick it up, put into a large box or trug or whatever and get on the phone and get it some help. Better to err on the side of caution. Hedgehogs can go down hill really really quickly so they need to get to a vet or experienced carer as quickly as possible. Sometimes you can't see what is wrong with them and so they need help.
Anyway, that has been our last couple of weeks here.... Oh I did manage to pick some plums from the plum tree too. :) And my green beans have finally produced some beans for us. :) Oh And the repairman came today and the washing machine is now working. :) YEAH!!!!

12 August 2011

August 12th, 2011

Sorry for not having a blog post in a while. We have been a bit busy and I had to let a few things go for a bit. Anyway, here is a new post for everyone.
Brian and I haven't stopped looking after hedgehogs, on the contrary we have been twice as busy actually even busier than that.  We have looked after more hedgehogs this year than we have in the last two years. We have had a few that didn't make it, but over all most did make it and alot are now back out in the wild doing what Hedgehogs do. Our count as of today is 51 hedgehogs helped. :) So I think we must be doing something right.

We have teamed up with Sue at Tiptree who runs the Hedgehog Haven along with some other lovely folks. I have offered to take in some babies so that can free her up for ones that don't take as much hands on feeding, etc. Next Thursday both Brian and I will be going over to lend her a hand in the hogspital. We missed their open day a few weeks ago, because I went away with Carol to Vale Wildlife Rescue centre's Hedgehog course. I have learnt to now give the hedgehogs subcut fluids via a syringe and needle. This was very scary the first time I did it. And it didn't help that I stabbed myself not once, but twice in the fingers. I am learning that sharps are sharp!!! I watched a disection from the doorway, as it was a rather hot day and I didn't think they wanted to be picking me up off the floor. I also have now learnt to distinguish a few parasites from all the other wonderous things that you find in Hedgehog poo under a microscope. It has been all go as I have said. Both Brian and I did a stall for Sue at a Vetinary open day. It was enjoyable talking to people about our favourite subject. And we both are very pleased with the vets we meet as they are so keen to learn about hedgehogs. We took Jingles in this past week for his jabs and the vet asked if she could ask us a question about hedgehogs. So poor Jingles is really coming in second to them now. Poor boy. Although we are sure he enjoys them as much as us as he is out every night guarding them in the garden. :)
   Okay here are a few photos of some of the hedgehogs we have looked after this year.......

Aragorn, Angelica and Elbereth, We are still using names from Lord of the Rings. Angelica(Angel) is now in our soft release pen and will be released with another young lad - Gabriel. 

This is Bramblewright and his brother is Sebastian. They have both been given back to Sue today and are in the big Soft Release pen. Ready to be going back to the wild in a week or so. My friend Marc gave them their names.

This is Sebastian. He was such a right little character. He would pull in the net curtain that I had around their cage as a fly protector. And poo on it. When I cleaned their cage, Bramble would run and hide in their nest area, not Seb. He had to wander about and approve the changes. Have a drink, bite to eat and then he might go and have his daily nap. He was so funny to watch.

This little man came in and was laying flat. He was so dehydrated, had some parasites and was my very first Sub Cut guinea pig. His finder's Father and Mother brought him to us and called him Trouble. This little lad was anything but. He was so lovely to look after. His lovely finders wanted him back and they only live in the next estate from us. He was one very luck boy to go back to live where he is going to be looked after. :)

This is Elrond. He came in with fly strike. For the sqeemish, look away now. He had maggots in his eye and ear. I went into overdrive when I saw them. Brian and I worked like a team that had done this hundreds of times. I would say what I needed and Brian was there getting it and doing my requests quickly and without question. I flushed the horrible things from his eye and his ear and sprayed his bottom with some F10 insecticidal wound spray. This stuff is liquid gold. It kills maggots and fly eggs and will make them leave the animal they have infested. We were very lucky. I hand fed little Elrond and kept him on heat for a couple of weeks and we gave him some extra TLC. The very protective mothering instinct had kicked in with this little lad. I am happy to say that today he is over 300 grams and is doing brillant. We were worried about his eye sight and still a little worried with his hearing, but he seems fine on the sight, but will need more testing on his hearing. Not sure if he is just so laid back because I had to handle him so much and so isn't as frightened of things as a wild baby would be.
   Today we picked up little Ratty and Frank. Frank wouldn't eat for Sue and Co. So I am giving it a go. So far today I have been able to get him to eat twice for me. Little Ratty ....... well I will need to get a photo of him for you all. They are adorable!!! So photos to follow in the week. :)